All week, reports have suggested that Mike Malone would likely be offered the head coach job with the Sacramento Kings. But reports also leaked out suggesting that Malone still planned to interview with the L.A. Clippers. He has a history with Chris Paul, and let's be honest -- the L.A. roster is vastly better than that of Sacramento. I honestly worried that Malone could be lost if Vivek Ranadivé was forced to wait for escrow to close this week and then interview and hire a new general manager.
Instead, Vivek reached a generous deal with Malone on Thursday, and it is expected he'll be announced on Friday after escrow closes. The worry was unfounded.
Here's some perspective on how quickly Vivek moved to get his guy in the face of competition. Keep in mind that though the Kings' season ended in mid-April, Ranadivé only learned two weeks ago -- on May 17 -- that he would be able to purchase the team from the Maloofs. He's essentially "had the team" for two weeks.
The Maloofs "had" the Kings from 1999 through two weeks ago. And they had the same front office executive, Geoff Petrie, throughout the entire time. They made three offseason head coach hires.
Eric Musselman was hired June 3, 2006.
Reggie Theus was hired June 19, 2007.
Paul Westphal was hired June 10, 2009.
Vivek hired Malone on May 30, 2013. The earliest offseason coaching hire of the past decade for the Kings. And the Maloofs/Petrie regime had a head start in every situation. (The Kings had been in the playoffs before hiring Musselman, but had been ejected in the early days of May. They took a month to settle on Muss.)
I'm not totally sure this says anything about Vivek's vaunted two-second advantage -- this is not a real-time advantage of exclusive information. This is about Vivek knowing exactly what he wants and wasting no time to get it. And, boy, it's wonderful.